A Novel Earthquake Education System Based on Virtual Reality

Xiaoli GONG  Yanjun LIU  Yang JIAO  Baoji WANG  Jianchao ZHOU  Haiyang YU  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E98-D   No.12   pp.2242-2249
Publication Date: 2015/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2015EDP7165
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Human-computer Interaction
Keyword: 
earthquake drill,  earthquake simulation platform,  virtual reality,  SIGVerse,  Kinect,  head mounted display,  

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Summary: 
An earthquake is a destructive natural disaster, which cannot be predicted accurately and causes devastating damage and losses. In fact, many of the damages can be prevented if people know what to do during and after earthquakes. Earthquake education is the most important method to raise public awareness and mitigate the damage caused by earthquakes. Generally, earthquake education consists of conducting traditional earthquake drills in schools or communities and experiencing an earthquake through the use of an earthquake simulator. However, these approaches are unrealistic or expensive to apply, especially in underdeveloped areas where earthquakes occur frequently. In this paper, an earthquake drill simulation system based on virtual reality (VR) technology is proposed. A User is immersed in a 3D virtual earthquake environment through a head mounted display and is able to control the avatar in a virtual scene via Kinect to respond to the simulated earthquake environment generated by SIGVerse, a simulation platform. It is a cost effective solution and is easy to deploy. The design and implementation of this VR system is proposed and a dormitory earthquake simulation is conducted. Results show that powerful earthquakes can be simulated successfully and the VR technology can be applied in the earthquake drills.